Planet E presents 2000 Black: The Good Good
Record label: Planet E Communications
Release date: 6 March 2001 (CD) / 13 March 2001 (vinyl)
Expect to hear the phrase “future soul” a lot more in the upcoming months. Some artists and labels claim to be working that angle, but something gets lost along the way. 2000 Black is a label that constantly presses onward, but never forgets its soul beginnings. Not surprising when you consider that the imprint is owned by 4 Hero member Dego MacFarlane. With thanks and love to Carl Craig, Planet E has licensed this compilation for stateside consumption and a positive education in the future of urban electronics.
The first thing that’s noticeable about this release (even before you play it) is Kenjji’s illustrations of brown-shaded souls from different walks of life: afros and baldheads, the thugged out and the bohemian are captured side by side. That in and of itself gives the impression that this compilation won’t be a rehashing of just one style. The diversity is astounding, and including a cover of Roy Ayers’s “2000 Black” is just too perfect. Roy also sings on this version, which gives the original a run for its money. Techno is served up sexy by Titonton Duvante (“Avenues”) while Nubian Minds lift the mental higher with “Future Past,” which is ripe for body movement. Nubian Minds takes off soon after with “Space Junky,” suggesting new directions for jazz and drum ‘n’ bass. Domu does the same with “Groovesome,” a hodgepodge of broken beats and scattered harmonies. 25th Century fusion at its finest. Mid-tempo dance floor vibes are cooked up on “Brand New Day,” as Pavel Kostiuck and Guests embrace the sun with soulful house. And Somatik’s “Diamondstone” brings the sound that will be all the rage in hip-hop for the next five years: Indian textures over hard-hitting drumbeats.
2000 Black is sort of a cross between a crystal ball and a Pandora’s box in this world of rhythms. While looking into the future to give focus on what could be, its artists wreak havoc within every danceable genre. Rich in its Blackness and inviting with open arms, 2000 Black looks to be the label to define next level urban dance music.
* PLEASE NOTE: the CD version contains three extra tracks.
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